Credit unions exist as a superior alternative to the cold, impersonal experience that many giant financial institutions offer. Most consumers don't want to handle this essential aspect of their lives in such an impersonal way. They want to walk through the door and be greeted by familiar faces. They want to see people who actually know their names. They want to give their business to a place where they feel like everyone involved genuinely cares about the community.
How to Best Serve Your Members the Products They Need!
Cross-Selling Credit Unions: A Matter of Perspective
If your credit union (CU) starts seeing cross-selling as "just another marketing opportunity," you begin to lose sight of what makes you different from a bank. Your CU needs to see cross-selling for what it really is: another opportunity to offer something of value to the members who have put their trust in you.
When your credit union uses a member's previous behavior to learn more about them, opportunities for organic cross-selling begin to reveal themselves. Your CU knows that because the member took Action A, they might get some type of benefit out of Action B, C, or D that they are unaware of right now. Therefore, stepping in and making them an offer isn't just marketing--it's helping them get additional value out of an experience that they already cherish a great deal.
The Impact of Credit Unions Cross-Selling to Members
It's when your CU starts cross-selling totally unrelated products at seemingly random times that people begin to get wary of the prospect. A classic (albeit straightforward) example of this would be offering a new credit card to a member who just opened a credit card. If there's one thing your credit union knows for sure, it's that the member probably doesn't need another one of those right now.
However, does your credit union have another financial product or service that might complement that card? Follow that path and you may be onto something.
This is part of the reason why many financial services professionals prefer to think of it less as cross-selling for members and more as cross-buying. Instead of looking at it as an opportunity to guide the member towards a particular action your CU wants them to take, instead, let the member guide you. Your credit union needs to simply pay attention to the behavioral data it's already collecting, derive as much insight as possible about each person's unique situation, and make recommendations based not on what your credit union wants to sell but on what someone wants or needs.
It's much more suitable for not only the world of financial services in general but also for a situation where the "buying" occurs infrequently--as it would when talking about something like a mortgage.
In the end, cross-selling for credit unions is a tool, the same as anything else. The potential for success is always there--but it is entirely possible to see less-than-stellar results if that tool isn't being used in the right way. To help clear up some confusion that people sometimes have regarding cross-selling, FLEX has recently authored a helpful eGuide that goes into more detail about all of this. Just click the button below to check it out!